November 29, 2019

Pope Francis names Detroit priest as new bishop of Gary Diocese

Criterion staff report

Msgr. Robert J. McCloryPope Francis has named Msgr. Robert J. McClory, rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Mich., to head the Diocese of Gary, Ind.

He succeeds Bishop Donald J. Hying, who was installed as the bishop of Madison, Wis., on June 25 after serving as the bishop of Gary since 2015.

The appointment was announced in Washington on Nov. 26 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate McClory, 56, has been shrine rector since 2017. A native of Detroit, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1999.

“I am honored and humbled that the Holy Father has appointed me as the bishop of Gary,” said Bishop-designate McClory in a prepared statement. “During this week in which we celebrate Thanksgiving, my heart is full of thanksgiving that he has entrusted me to serve the people of northwest Indiana.

“I look forward to getting to know the needs of our local Church and, together, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

His ordination and installation as the fifth bishop of Gary is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2020.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson was glad for the news of the appointment.

“We are most grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for this timely appointment,” he said. “On behalf of the Province of Indianapolis, which comprises all of Indiana, I congratulate and welcome Bishop-designate Robert McClory. The Indiana bishops and members of the Indiana Catholic Conference look forward to serving with Bishop-designate McClory as he shepherds the Diocese of Gary.”

The bishop-designate currently serves on the Archdiocese of Detroit’s episcopal council, college of consultors and priest assignment board. He has also taught canon law part time at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

He previously served in different capacities in the chancery of the Detroit Archdiocese and in its parishes.

Bishop-designate McClory received priestly formation at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, both in Rome. He later earned a graduate degree in canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome in 2000.

Prior to becoming a seminarian, Bishop-designate McClory earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and communications from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich., a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia University in New York and a law degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Bishop-designate McClory will be the second priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit to serve as bishop for the Gary Diocese. Bishop Dale J. Melczek, who led the diocese from 1992 until his retirement in 2014, was also a priest of the Detroit Archdiocese before being named its shepherd.

Established in 1956, the Gary Diocese encompasses 1,807 square miles in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Starke counties in northwestern Indiana. †

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